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N3 Toll Concession
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N3 Toll Concession (N3TC) is going the extra mile to enhance overall route safety this December holiday

Managing this strategic transport link, N3TC adheres to the Global Framework for the ‘Decade of Action for Road Safety’ as part of the United Nation’s Road Safety Collaboration which was launched six years ago. This global initiative provides a clear framework and guidelines to improve road safety with the aim of stabilising and reducing road fatalities.

Governments, international agencies, the private sector and civil society stakeholder groups support this global plan. South Africa is a signatory to the ‘Decade of Action for Road Safety’ initiative.

Since inception N3TC has instituted various road safety interventions and deploys extensive resources to enhance safety along the N3 Toll Route (from Heidelberg in Gauteng to Cedara in KwaZulu-Natal). “We continuously improve road signage and markings, do speed over distance monitoring, enhance our road incident management capacity through on-going training, and the deployment of highly-specialised personnel and emergency response vehicles,” says Miles le Roux, N3TC’s transport engineer.

All incidents along the N3 Toll Route are managed from N3TC’s Route Control Centre (RCC) based at Bergview Complex near Harrismith. Emergency roadside assistance, as well as traffic and route updates, are provided from the RCC.

“On a daily basis, the Route Control Centre diligently manages the very important N3 Incident Database which is currently the only database of its kind in South Africa. It enables us to identify hotspots along the route and gives a better understanding of the type of incidents, how to manage and mitigate these. This information goes a long way to inform our decisions when obtaining and deploying our resources to ensure overall improved road safety,” explains le Roux.

Driver attitude and risk-taking continues to have a negative impact on road safety.

“Human error (deliberate or unintentional) remains the top cause of crashes and fatalities on the N3 Toll Route. Nearly 75% of vehicle crashes on the N3 Toll Route are due to human error,” continues le Roux. “We will only succeed to substantially reduce the carnage on our roads when drivers, with the support of their passengers, consciously adopt more defensive driving styles.”

Human factors include negligent driving behaviour such as illegal overtaking, tailgating, weaving across lanes, illegal turns, speeding, driver distractions, being aggressive and impatient on the road, violating traffic laws and other safety regulations.

Following human error, vehicle failure places lives at risk.

“Making sure that your vehicle is in good mechanical order, is a necessity to your safety. Should your vehicle break down or you have to stop for any other emergency on the road, please be sure to move your vehicle well away from the road. Since the start of this holiday season, we have already noted a number of highly dangerous situations with stationary vehicles in the road; often in poor weather conditions when visibility is compromised, and most alarmingly with people in their vehicles or waiting for help just outside their vehicles. It is essential that every precaution is taken to limit any risk to you and your loved ones,” warns le Roux.

“Your best defence always is to avoid dangerous situations.”

N3TC Road Safety Initiatives

“We combine our efforts with various partners in road safety and law enforcement to enhance our emergency capacity and to ensure that road users have the best possible experience,” says Con Roux, commercial manager of N3TC. Visible law enforcement, 24-hour emergency assistance and general road user assistance can be expected from N3TC and its partners. The following measures have been put in place:

  • Regular route patrols by the N3TC patrol teams to ensure that the road is free of any hazards;
  • On-going monitoring of traffic conditions and advance warning of any prevailing conditions which may affect route safety or cause delays;
  • Strict law enforcement along entire route and traffic check points on key dates;
  • Random checks for roadworthiness of vehicles;
  • Random testing of drivers who may be under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other substances;
  • Enforcement of public transport compliance;
  • Medical services with intermediate and/or advanced life support units who will be stationed at strategic points along the route;
  • Medical rescue units, air ambulances, disaster and rescue teams will be on standby; and
  • Humanitarian groups will be available to assist at major crashes and provide post-crash care support to victims.

Expected peak traffic periods on the N3 Toll Route this Festive Season

The N3 Toll Route may become heavily congested during the peak holiday season. Plan your trip well in advance and stay up-to-date with road and traffic conditions ahead. Set realistic targets, keeping in mind that you may be delayed.

“When roads are busier and journeys slower, your road trip may be an exhausting ordeal. No matter how well you have planned your trip, things can unexpectedly go differently. Remain calm and alert, be extra cautious, avoid distractions and guard against exhaustion,” advises le Roux. “Along the N3 Toll Route, numerous roadside attractions will help keep you refreshed.”

Southbound (towards KwaZulu-Natal)

  • Friday, 15 December between 12h00 and 22h00
  • Saturday, 16 December between 06h00 and 15h00
  • Sunday, 17 December between 06h00 and 15h00
  • Monday, 18 December from 06h00 to 15h00

North and Southbound

  • Friday, 22 December between 10h00 and 20h00
  • Saturday, 23 December between 06h00 and 15h00
  • Friday, 29 December between 12h00 and 20h00

Northbound (towards Gauteng)

  • Tuesday, 02 January between 12h00 and 22h00
  • Friday to Sunday, 05 – 07 January between 12h00 and 22h00

Road construction

Road construction activities along the N3 Toll Route ceased from mid-December 2017 and will only resume during the second week of January 2018. There will be no lane restrictions during this period unless emergency repair is required.

Get advance traffic information or report roadside emergencies

Before departure, motorists are advised to obtain the latest road and traffic information from N3TC’s 24-hour emergency helpline: 0800 63 4357 (0800 N3 HELP) or via Twitter: @N3Route. Should it be required, emergency assistance will be dispatched to you anywhere along the N3 Toll Route.

N3TC wishes you a safe and peaceful holiday.